Following a 6-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night the Pittsburgh Pirates are now 3-1 in their last 4 games
Baseball can be an emotional sport. Tuesday night at PNC Park those emotions were on display for the Pittsburgh Pirates. After allowing a go-ahead home run in the top of the 7th inning Pirate starting pitcher Tyler Anderson became very emotional in the dugout, hitting both the dugout wall and water cooler.
In the bottom half of that inning emotions swung back in a positive direction for the Pittsburgh Pirates. An offensive explosion in the bottom of the 7th inning led the way for the Pirates in a 6-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night in the first game of their brief two-game series. With the win, the Pirates have now won 3 of their last 4 games to improve to 26-45 on the season.
This was one of the most feel good wins of the season for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They overcame a late deficit, bailed out Anderson who pitched a great ball game and, with their rally, got Pittsburgh native David Bednar his first career MLB win.
Strong bounce back start from Tyler Anderson
Anderson has had just two poor starts this season. Each of those starts were derailed by a poor inning. In his most recent start against the Washington Nationals he suffered from one of these innings when he allowed 5 runs in the 1st inning.
Tuesday night, Anderson was in search of a bounce back start and he turned in just that. Through the first 6 innings of the game he was nearly untouchable. He allowed just a pair of singles and did not walk a batter in 6 scoreless inning.
Then in the 7th inning Anderson ran into some trouble. With two outs in the inning and two runners on base he allowed a pinch hit home run to Yasmani Grandal that just barely cleared the center field wall.
After walking a batter Anderson was pulled for David Bednar who got the final out of the inning. This set Anderson’s final line at 3 runs allowed on 5 hits, a walk and 4 strikeouts in 6.2 innings pitched.
Throughout the start Anderson pounded the strike zone, throwing 63 of his 86 pitches for strikes, while keeping White Sox hitters off balance and out of whack at the plate. While Anderson has a 4.82 ERA on the season 21% of the runs he has allowed came in those two poor innings discussed above. Outside of these two innings Anderson has a 3.92 ERA on the season. Combine this with Anderson being a lefty who is averaging 5.8 innings per start and he should draw plenty of trade interest in the next month.
Pittsburgh Pirates grab an early lead
Early on the game was a pitcher’s duel. Anderson and Lucas Giolito, who no-hit the Pirates when he faced them last season, were going pitch for pitch. Then in the bottom of the 3rd inning the Pirates would strike first when Adam Frazier hit a solo home run, his 3rd of the season giving the Bucs a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the 6th inning this lead grew to 2-0 when Bryan Reynolds singled home Kevin Newman. This was the first of a pair of RBI for Reynolds in what was yet another big night for the Pirate center fielder.
Big 7th inning carries the Pirates to victory
After Anderson allowed the go-ahead 3-run home run to Grandal in the top of the 7th inning, the Pittsburgh Pirates entered the bottom half of the inning trailing 3-2. They would not trail for long, however, as a 4-run inning gave the Pirates the lead back and drove the team to victory.
Facing hard-throwing lefty Garrett Crochet, Gregory Polanco ripped a 106 MPH single to right field to start the inning. Phillip Evans followed this with his second hit of the game, Newman then laid down a bunt that resulted in a base hit. On Newman’s bunt there was also a throwing error by Yoan Moncada. This error allowed Polanco to score and put runners on second and third.
With runners on second and third with no one out, pinch-hitter Erik González stepped to the plate. González continued his season long ambush on left-handed pitching with a 2-run single that gave the Pirates a 5-3 lead.
After González took second base on the throw home Crochet was pulled for another lefty, Aaron Bummer. Bummer got Frazier to fly out before appearing to work around Ke’Bryan Hayes while walking him. This walk put runners on the corners with one out. Reynolds then ripped a single to center field to extend the Pirate lead to 6-3.
The most impressive part of the 7th inning for the Pittsburgh Pirates is that a majority of the damage came against Crochet. Entering Tuesday night’s contest Crochet had allowed just 3 earned runs all season. Tuesday night he was charged with 4 runs and all 4 batters that he faced reached base.
Bullpen slams the door
It was been talked about plenty, but the bullpen has been a strength throughout the 2021 season for the Pittsburgh Pirates. On Tuesday night the Pirates got more great bullpen work and this helped drive the team’s victory.
After Bednar got the final out the 7th inning, Kyle Crick was summoned for the 8th inning. While Crick did issue a walk, he struck out the other 3 batters he faced. Richard Rodríguez continued his excellent 9th inning by retiring the White Sox in order while recording a strikeout to pick up 9th save of the season.
Overall, the Pirate bullpen pitched 2.1 innings on Tuesday night. The three relievers that Derek Shelton used did not allow a run, gave up just a single hit, walked one and struck out 4 in their 2.1 scoreless innings of work. The bullpen continues to be a strength for the Bucs.
Wednesday afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago White Sox will complete their brief two-game series. Righty Chase De Jong (4.26 ERA, 5.53 FIP) is scheduled to start for the Pirates, while the White Sox plan to send Dylan Cease (3.99 ERA, 3.46 FIP) to the mound. First pitch from PNC Park is scheduled for 12:35 PM ET.